Day 34 – July 9, 2001 – We spent the morning in Tok doing laundry and trying to get the wheel repaired on Ken’s car. Judging by the price the welding shop charged to do the repair, they are part of the lobby to keep the Taylor Highway in its current condition. But they did go ahead and fix it right away so we were able to get on the road by noon. The road from Tok to Glennallen was mostly flat and good pavement so the trip went pretty fast. We were running alongside some gorgeous mountains, including one with a 16,000 foot peak, but fortunately, didn’t have to go through or over them. The clouds were so heavy that the photos of the mountains didn’t turn out – snow, clouds, and white sky all blend together. The last 16 miles of the road was under construction and was pretty rough. They were putting in culverts so there was a pavement cut every 400 feet. Even at our speed, it was bone rattling. We made it to the cabins in Glennallen around 6:00 pm, had a fast-food kind of supper, and crashed fairly early. When I made the reservations here, I was told that these cabins were designed for people who wanted to have a “roughing it” experience in Alaska – the bathrooms were across the way. After some of the outhouses we’ve seen (and used), we considered a hot shower and a flush toilet to be luxuries, even if we had to cross a parking lot to get to them.
Jul 9, 2001
709a – Taylor looks for bears. We stopped for lunch at a pretty roadside pullout out an hour out of Tok. Jennifer put chili together in the manifold cookers and we let it heat while Joyce made sandwiches to go with them. The meal was delicious but the mosquitoes were eating us up. We had heard about the Alaskan mosquitoes (the national bird of Alaska) but they are a force to contend with.
709b – A late afternoon rest stop turned out to be a gravel pit. Jennifer and Ginger played king of the mountain with Taylor.
709c – Lucky, who is a pretty placid dog, tries to get Ben to play with him. Cindy and Ross watch. We normally try to find prettier places than this but we had gone up a long climb and had a line of cars behind us so we took the first place we found to stop.
709d – The cabins at Glennallen were charming. Every cabin, and the office which housed a wonderful quilting supplies/sporting goods store, was embellished with fantastic flowers. The 22-hours per day of sunshine and the fairly consistent daily rains cause the colors to be brilliantly bright and the plants themselves are twice as large as they grow in Texas. Even the most humble cabins and houses have flower gardens that would be the source of envy at home. Jennifer’s pickup is on the left and Ross’s roadster is on the right.
709e – An evening shower, and the gigantic mosquitoes, drove everyone inside. Jennifer and Ginger Hardeman, Ross Lilliker, and Steve Markowski got involved in a marathon UNO game that lasted nearly two hours. (Ross won and Jennifer came in second.) They all declared that they would never play UNO again. This place had no TV or phone in the room but we have all gotten out of the habit of watching TV. We’ve hardly even read a paper. If anything really important happens, somebody send us an email, ok?
709f – The rain stopped close to midnight and Ginger took a picture of this rainbow. It was almost complete and portions of it were double. The only reason that the sky is this dark is that it was still cloudy. On a clear night, it is still fairly bright at midnight.